Note from the Executive Director
We are excited to share our 2021/22 Annual Report with you to showcase what the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) team has achieved in collaboration with our partners under continued adverse conditions. The second year of the global COVID-19 pandemic was tough for everyone – maybe tougher than the first, as we expected life to return to some kind of normal quicker than it did. The reality hit hard and many African countries were seriously impacted economically and, subsequently, environmentally. We are proud that we managed to retain all our staff on full salaries, which was not the case for many other conservation organisations, especially in Africa. A big thank you goes to all our partners and donors, who allowed us increased flexibility during these challenging times to keep our team complete and busy. Each team member is vital for our success and our impact on the conservation of giraffe in the wild.
And then, just when we thought that circumstances were finally looking up, we were faced with another reality: war in Europe. Who knows how this is going to change the global situation… Luckily, giraffe live far away in Africa and are not directly impacted by this war; however, inflation and recession are certainly taking their toll on conservation funding. We hope that we can weather this storm too and continue to make a difference for giraffe.
While travel restrictions forced us to concentrate on working in the countries where our team members are based, it also afforded us the time to plan. Impactful conservation needs careful planning and long-term partnership development. However, after the numerous and varied post-COVID constraints, our team was relieved when the conservation of giraffe and the implementation of projects began to move full steam ahead again.
While saving giraffe is at the centre of all our work, conservation is also about people: the people who share their living space with giraffe; the governments, communities and private landowners who protect their wildlife and create safe spaces for them to live; the conservationists who dedicate their lives to protecting the planet; our team who works hard to secure a future for giraffe; and many more.
The future of giraffe conservation is a team effort. Premised on the initial and fundamental understanding of each situation, getting the correct message out there and following through with targeted management action is at the core of what we do.
Given the positive impact our team and partners are making, we are excited for the future of giraffe conservation. As we #StandTallForGiraffe, we are a voice for giraffe!
What else is inside …
- From the Executive Director
- Message from the GCF Board Chair
- Who is GCF?
- GCF Team
- Designing a GCF Work Culture
- Key Conservation Partners
- Giraffe Conservation Actions
- Giraffe Conservation Health Initiative
- Twiga Tracker Initiative
- Recent MoUs, Conservation Strategy Developments & new Partnerships
- Other News
- A Leader in Technology
- Dwarf Giraffe in the Guinness World Records
- Financial Summary
Message from the GCF Board Chair
While our work never stopped, coming out the pandemic we hit the ground running. Unfortunately, we also enter a time of deep economic and geo-political uncertainty. GCF is the voice for giraffe, and we must ensure that their voice continues to be heard through all the other worrying things currently out there.
In this year’s report, you will read a lot about GCF’s community-driven approach to conservation. We highlight how critical it is to continue strengthening our relationships with our network of African governments, our regional partners, and global conservation organisations. It is these strong partnerships, and the mutual trust developed over many years of collaboration, that enable GCF to carry out our critical conservation actions in 18 African countries.
Sadly, I would like to pay tribute to our Board member Melle Orford, who passed away suddenly in November 2021. We will miss Melle dearly. We are very grateful for the valuable contributions that she made to our organisation and giraffe conservation.
I welcome ShariLeigh Gordon to the Board, who has joined us as Treasurer. ShariLeigh brings with her a legal and financial background, as well as several years of experience working in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I would also like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to and admiration of the entire GCF team for delivering another very successful year!
Most of all, thank you to our generous donors, who continue to support us in these challenging times and without whom our work could not be done. We are proud to be a lean organisation, where almost 90% of GCF’s funds go directly to conservation programmes and grants in Africa. Once again, as a non-profit organisation, GCF has received the prestigious GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency.
Key Conservation Partners
Working with partners is at the core of GCF’s values and conservation approach. Over the past years we have forged numerous key conservation partnerships around the world, particularly throughout Africa. We are proud to work closely with our partners towards saving giraffe in the wild.
Navigating the hierarchical systems of African governments is not always easy; however, when they are successful, these partnerships garner the most amazing results. Working with government partners is key to conservation in most countries. Local communities are the custodians of their wildlife, and their involvement is imperative for the success of any long-term conservation initiative. Local and international conservation organisations and NGOs often provide inroads, insights and collaborative approaches on many levels towards long-term conservation initiatives. In this respect, GCF partners with many of the cleverest minds in conservation science to achieve high-level signs, outputs and publications. As a science-based organisation, GCF uses the latest and best available science to inform our conservation actions.
This is not an exhaustive list; however, we would like to highlight a few key conservation partners who stood out this year. We are fortunate that there are many more organisations and individuals who continue to provide invaluable support. This support covers a wide range of aspects, which at times comes from unexpected sources. All your assistance is important and together we stand tall for giraffe.
Giraffe Conservation Actions
GCF’s impact on giraffe conservation in Africa continues to grow. Currently, GCF is involved in and supports giraffe conservation initiatives in 18 African countries.
Our work has an impact on over 400,000 km2 (100 million acres) of giraffe habitat and concerns all four species of giraffe. Our range of involvement includes programme implementation, providing direct and indirect technical support to partners, conservation monitoring, and hands-on conservation action.
Our work spans the whole gamut of giraffe conservation efforts. As a network organisation, we see ourselves as a catalyst. We have no intention of doing all the work ourselves or on our own; instead, we aim to inspire partners to support giraffe conservation. As threats vary greatly between giraffe populations and the countries they live in, there is no blueprint for saving giraffe. Conservation actions and the overall approach have to be adapted to each country, its culture, and the specifics of individual giraffe populations and their habitats.
As such, we design local, national, regional and continental giraffe conservation projects, programmes and initiatives and implement these in partnership with others. As a science-based organisation, our conservation approach is always based on the latest available science. However, it is important to note that we only engage in research that will directly inform conservation actions.
Other Africa-wide Initiatives
Many of GCF’s programmes and initiatives are not limited to one country but span throughout the giraffe range in Africa. You can read updates about our Giraffe Conservation Health and Twiga Tracker initiatives, find out more about recent MoUs, conservation strategy developments and new partnerships as well as other news.
As a science-based organisation, GCF is considered one of the world leaders in several aspects of field technology for giraffe conservation monitoring and research. Employing these technologies continue to result in many scientific publications.
Get Involved, Stay Involved
Donations are the bread-and-butter of our conservation work.
Your donations directly contribute to our ability to ensure a sustainable future for giraffe in Africa.
Giraffe Adoptions give you a personal connection to GCF’s work.
Much like donations, adoptions directly fund our conservation work.
Spread the Word
Wear our official apparel to support our work, and our message.
By buying official GCF gear, you’re supporting our work in two ways:
- You are literally wearing the message to help spread the word about giraffe endangerment.
- Funds from each purchase directly support our conservation work in Africa.